M.S. Career and Technology Education Program Review 2005-2006

Program Review 2005-2006 Planning and Review Committee

Degree:  M.S. in Career and Technical Education

Program Director:  Dr. Howard Lee

PRC Consultant(s):  Heidi Rabeneck, Stephen Shumate, Haiyan Tian, and Debra Homa

Purpose of the Review:  The review was conducted to assess the quality of the M.S. in Career and Technical Education degree program as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle of every UW-Stout program.

Committee Findings:  The PRC recommends continuation of this program through the next scheduled review in 2012-13, and that the recommendations made by the committee are implemented.


The M.S. Career and Technical Education program at UW-Stout is the second oldest graduate degree program on campus, and is a very well-established and known program. Students enrolled in the program work in the Wisconsin Technical College System, are high school teachers involved with career and technical and school-to-work initiatives, and some work for agencies such as the Department of Corrections, Private Industry Councils, and human services agencies that train in career and technical education.  The program’s curriculum is flexible in the methods of course delivery as to meet the needs of adult students looking to either advance in their career or transition to teaching from industry. Currently, the program is available on campus, as well as in a weekend, cohort format in the Milwaukee area. Some courses are also available online. The core of the program involves a minimum of seven credits of research coursework and experience, a psychology of learning course, multiculturalism or similar course, and other graduate-only level coursework requiring advanced levels of analysis, conceptualization, and problem solving. Providing access to this type of program comes with a cost. It takes a considerable amount of time and money to recruit students for an off-campus program. With reductions in support on campus, the program director typically does all recruitment and marketing efforts in person. Currently, the program director is limited due to the fact that the position was reduced from 50% down to 25% and Dr. Lee is currently teaching 9 credits, but according to Appendix D and E of the program director’s self-study report, enrollments have remained consistent since August of 2003, showing a strong demand for this program off-campus.

Process Followed for Current Review

The PRC Chair met with the dean, program director and chair of the primary department to discuss the review process.  The PRC consultants also met with the program director at various intervals to review the procedures and offer assistance.
Under guidelines developed by the PRC, data regarding several aspects of the program were collected from students, key instructors within and outside the department, program committee members and program graduates through surveys.  The data were analyzed and returned to the program director and PRC members.
There were 15 students who participated in the survey. In addition, one key instructor within the department and five key instructors from outside the department, and six program committee members responded, but no program graduates responded. Using this data, the program director completed the self-study report.  The consultants then wrote a draft document summarizing the consultants’ analysis of these surveys, institutional data, and the program director’s self-study report that was distributed to the PRC with recommendations as deemed appropriate. On December 2, 2005, the program director presented a summary of his report to the committee and had an opportunity to address concerns. The Dean from the School of Education was also available to answer questions. After the committee discussed and approved the consultant-based report, it was then forwarded to the dean for response. The PRC reviewed the dean’s response, approved the recommendation report, and forwarded the report to the Faculty Senate.

Previous Review

Previous Recommendations
The previous PRC review of the M.S. Career and Technical Education program was conducted during academic year 1997-98. That report was written by Randy Upchurch and Bill Bailey and the committee’s recommendations as well as the applicable responses are submitted below:

Previous Consultants’ Recommendations

  1. More program courses should be made available through distance education, and students in the program should receive more course work in how to use distance education hardware and software.

    CTEM will use the award of the Nakatani Grant to develop the vocational education certification courses for Internet delivery. Faculty are presently being trained and these courses should be online second semester, 1999.

  2. More summer offerings should be made available to accommodate working student’s schedules.

    CTEM program directors were asked to develop a 2-year plan for course offerings. The intent was to assist in scheduling and to avoid overlap. The college also offered to reduce enrollment needs for scheduled, rotational courses for the summer to accommodate program students.

  3. The program director must work to recruit and orient Plan A and B thesis advisors. This was also a recommendation of the PRC review prior to the last.

    The recognition of thesis advising through release time during the academic year and stipends during the summer session is a tremendous incentive for faculty to engage in advisement. The college and program director will continue to encourage chairs to discuss the benefits of thesis advisement with faculty and to recognize and reward faculty when they engage in this teaching activity. This continues to be a problem for distance education students as they have little face-to-face contact with UW-Stout faculty.

The PRC consultants found that attempts have been made to address major concerns raised in the 1997-98 program review, although it appears that rather than focusing on distance education and Internet-only delivery, the program currently aims toward a blended instruction model of online, interactive television and face-to-face course interaction.

Program Review

Program Strengths

  1. Courses are delivered via distance education, cohort, and on weekends.

    Student survey, program director’s self-study report, key instructor survey, and advisory committee survey

  2. The program director does a great job providing leadership to Career and Technical Education.

    Key instructor survey and advisory committee survey

  3. The program is unique in terms of the targeted population it serves.

    Key instructor survey and program director’s self-study report

  4. Instructors are knowledgeable about Career and Technical Education in Wisconsin, and several could be certified to teach in the WI Technical College System. As a result, coursework is more relevant and develops more competencies that students can use.

    Student survey, program director’s self-study report, and advisory committee survey

Issues of Concern    

  1. Additional areas of faculty/academic staff expertise are needed.

    Program directo’s self-study report and student survey

  2. The program needs more rigorous standards for technical college delivery of the courses.

    Advisory committee survey and student survey

  3. Examine possible duplication of content in research courses (Intro to Research and Research Fundamentals).

    Program director’s self-study report and student survey

  4. Update classroom facilities and lab equipment, specifically VR 332.

    Key instructor survey and student survey

Recommendations for the Program Director

  1. It is recommended that the program director continue to meet with students during the registration period to discuss the students’ reactions to the courses they are currently taking and their plans for the next semester as addressed in section 2.1.2 of the M.S. in Career and Technical Education Self-Study Report for 2005.
  2. It is recommended that the program director continue to attend professional meetings and conferences and meet with technical college personnel on a regular basis to foster input on the latest instructional technology, program design techniques, and program evaluation requirements that are being implemented in the technical college system and apply that toward increasing the rigor and standards of the program.

Recommendations for the Coordinating Chair of the School of Education

  1. It is recommended that the coordinating chair work with the program director to find faculty and academic staff with the appropriate background in Career and Technical Education as well as the Wisconsin Technical College System to provide instruction for program courses.
  2. It is recommended that the coordinating chair, in concert with the department faculty, study and eliminate as needed, overlap of content in Introduction to Research and Research Fundamentals.

Recommendations for the Dean of the School of Education

  1. It is recommended that the dean facilitate the need for classroom facility updates to the university as it is assumed that this is shared classroom space. The problems, specifically the need for updated technology and an overall face-lift which is more conducive to cooperative learning.